Saying goodbye is always difficult. Some people, mostly men like me I may add, shake hands, hug and go. Others cling on like they are unable to bare the separation. Being in each other’s company is something we take for granted. In the past week, I saw some more ex work friends photos from their leaving drink, their eyes revealing how difficult it is to leave a family not blood related but that you’ve been with for years. As I looked at them, I remembered some of the battles and wars we had faced, but what we thought were huge issues then was nothing compared to the circus we joined known as austerity. Constantly threatened with our jobs we juggled with twenty knives instead of five skittles whilst wearing clown outfits with sad faces. We placed our heads into tigers mouths hoping that the animal had been fed, walked the tightrope without a net and ended up in a war zone knee deep in fields littered with mines trying to watch out for one another but not always able to. When you share such times and can still find laughter around the mental institution that is management by email, you’re friends for life.
Michelle and I had a discussion the other day about what truly constitutes home. Is it a house or a place? No, we concluded, it’s people. Many of my old work family have found other jobs, taken the plunge and placed themselves in new surroundings where they will meet new people, make new friends but always have the old guard to speak to. Best of luck to all of them. I hope they share their experience but with the turmoil of new surroundings, new work and the need to impress, I expect they may go quiet for a while.
So we said goodbye to family at the airport. Waved at them until they were out of sight, wondering when we would next meet. Only a few short months ago we were around 12 miles apart and didn’t feel the need to make contact as much as we do now. Our relationships have strengthened because of the distance, the deep feelings we have for them maturing like an oak wine ready to be uncorked on that special day we are reunited again.
In our current rented accommodation, the dust has begun to rise. Taz has sensed a new frisson around us. The urgency that is time has been woken from its month-long slumber and we are padding ourselves checking everything is where it should be. The suitcases stand to attention ready to receive the clothes and hoping not to be lost in an airport in a country far far away. Our families and friends are not with us and yet they are. We have packed them away in our tablets, computers and phones hoping to hear their voices at some stage during our journey.
In our virtual streets we can stay connected in Facebook Close.
So although thousands of miles separates us, I can see my mum and dad in their living room. The unreserved joy they have when we connect via FaceTime. It is moments like this that I’ll always remember and will give us both strength in the coming months as we face the uncharted waters of the Southern Ocean, the other side of the equator. Walkabout Creek, here we come!